Seat Belt Preemption Case Before SCOTUS

Oral arguments were heard two months ago in Williamson v. Mazda Motors of America, and when the United States Supreme Court decides the case we will have a better understanding of the law of preemption.

At issue is whether a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rule permitting the use of Type1 seat belts (lap belt only) in the middle seat of passenger vehicles preempts a claim by an injured passenger that the manufacturer should have installed a Type 2 belt (includes a shoulder harness) in the vehicle.

The California Court of Appeals held that the claim was preempted.  The California Supreme Court refused to hear the case.  The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the case on November 3.

Here is a copy of the California Court of Appeals opinion.

Read the briefs in the US Supreme Court here.

I will write about this case again after the Supreme Court issues a ruling.